Starting our Colts
We begin working with our youngsters as soon as their first day. In that first summer, they learn to lead on a halter and be groomed, lunge and trail ride alongside mom. They also meet our wonderful farrier.
In their second summer, as yearlings, they will learn to pass through a gate, lunge on their own, pick up their feet and stand for the farrier. They will have plenty of practice at the exerciser, more grooming and lots of leading. They will get used to tarps flapping, machines running, blankets and small saddles on their backs. And they will learn to stand tied at the patience pole.
As two year olds, the serious work begins, but all the little encounters along the way make this stage much easier for all of us! Friendly and calm two year olds are haltered and worked in the round pen and arena. Gradually they get used to new sights and sounds. Our trainer believes in a gentle start, so the first ride is not a chaotic event - it is a natural progression of their training.
When the two year old is ready, they try the saddle and learn to take direction on the halter shank. Soon, the trainer will be sitting on the fence above them and then she will move onto the saddle. We lead the youngsters until they are comfortable just to keep things as safe as possible. After a few rides in the round pen under very controlled conditions, they often get a try riding trails alongside an older, steady horse.
On this page, you will find photos of each of the youngsters as they start carrying a rider. We find the process exhilarating - after everyone is safely and happily back in their pasture. It's interesting to see their personalities emerge as they take a rider and begin their working lives. Often their young qualities remain but some become stalwart workers without any fuss while others like to push and challenge at every step.
Every horse is different and the process is adapted to suit them - moving quickly or slowly at each stage as they are ready and confident to learn more.